International Military Tribunal. No. 1. The United States of America, the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Against Hermann Wilhelm Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Robert Ley ... Individually and as Members of Any of the Following Groups or Organisations to which they Respectively Belonged ... Defendants. N.p., October 1945. 43 pp. Legal folio, stapled. Errata sheet tipped to p 1. Errata and p 1 with inkstamps: "Not for Publication before 2000 hours 15.10.45." Timestamp on final page: "Received 20 Nov 1945 HQ U.S. Forces European Theater Secretary General Staff."
Very rare draft indictment for the trial of the major war criminals of WWII, the first of the Nuremberg Trials, dating from about a month before the trials began. The present indictment is certainly among the most important documents of 20th century justice. 24 Nazi leaders were enumerated as well as 6 criminal organizations: the leadership of the Nazi party, the SS, the SD, the Gestapo, the SA, and the "General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces." The present draft indictment, with the errata sheet, is very rare. We find no copies of this version at the Harvard Law School Library, NARA, the Avalon Project at Yale, or the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. The errata are generally typographic with one more substantive change deleting a reference to the plundering of a large library in Latvia.
The large "Not For Publication" stamps on the first pages certainly dramatize the care and precision with which the legal case against the Nazis was built. Incredibly, just a year and a day after this indictment was published the first executions took place.
Provenance: derives from the estate of Ernest R. Lee, aide-de-camp for General Eisenhower, to whom Eisenhower gifted many of his own papers and artifacts.